Brian Williams delivers blow to journalists by lying
Williams did not admit that he lied. He simply apologized for making a ‘mistake.’ But he’s still a liar, and it took a Stars & Stripes report to prove it. As journalists, the truth is the only currency that we have.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
He’s a liar.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams dealt journalists everywhere a stunning blow Wednesday when he apologized for telling millions a tall tale about how he once rode in a military helicopter that got shot down by enemy fire in Iraq.
To be clear, Williams — who presides over one of the most watched evening newscasts on the planet — did not admit that he had lied, he simply apologized for making a “mistake.”
“I want to apologize... I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft.”
We’re talking about a rocket propelled grenade slamming into the side of a helicopter as it flies over a battlefield. So what if it was 12 years ago? I can remember getting hit in the head with a rock by a kid in third grade.
For over 10 years Williams has repeated his half-truth of heroic survival and even told it again as recently as last Friday night, during a Rangers game when NBC did a special segment about one of the soldiers who protected him in Iraq.
He was busted when Stars & Stripes, a military newspaper, asked the helicopter crew members about that fateful day and they had a different story to tell: the truth.
“We all landed after the ground fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert,” Williams said at the end of his newscast. “This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women,” he said singling out Friday’s telecast as the sole example of his lie — amazingly forgetting to mention the all the other times he shared the fib, including a 2013 appearance on “The Late Show” with David Letterman.
“We were in some helicopters. What we didn’t know was, we were north of the invasion,” he told Letterman. “We were the northernmost Americans in Iraq. We were going to drop some bridge portions across the Euphrates so the Third Infantry could cross on them. Two of the four helicopters were hit, by ground fire, including the one I was in, RPG and AK-47.”
As journalists, the truth is the only currency any of us have and Williams mea culpa was a pile of funny money.
Posters comment: We Americans can do better than that. Trust, faith, and confidence is a big deal to many of us.